GRPCC eNews No48 - March 2021
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Life and Death Matters 

The GRPCC eNews Life & Death Matters is circulated bi-monthly to provide you with current information regarding the GRPCC members, including upcoming education and training. If you have been forwarded the GRPCC eNews from a colleague or friend and would like to receive your own copy, click here to subscribe

New Resources
Guidelines and documents to assist health professionals and carers in recognising and delivering evidence-based practice in palliative care
The GRPCC Clinical Practice Group (CPG) continues to source and provide clinical practice guidelines and documents in response to GRPCC identified needs to assist health professionals and carers in recognising and delivering evidence-based practice in palliative care.

The importance of evidence based practice cannot be underestimated in the palliative care environment, whether in the community, in residential aged care, or the inpatient setting.

Click on the recently reviewed / endorsed guideline to view

•    Rapid Admission for imminently dying patients 
•    Advance Care Planning in the context of end of life care
•    Palliative Sedation
•    Anticipatory Prescribing

For a full list of CPG Guidelines please visit the GRPCC website


The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) aims to improve the accessibility of quality palliative care in the community by increasing the skills and confidence of health professionals who are caring for people with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

Palliative Approach in Aged Care Workshop (In Person) - SOLD OUT

For nurses or carers working in aged care with limited or no palliative care experience and who have not attended a PEPA workshop previously.

Date: Wednesday 14th July 2021
Location: Century Inn, Promenade A, 5 Airfield Road, Traralgon
Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm (Registration from 8.30am) 

Topics covered include:

  • Principles of palliative care
  • Communication
  • Providing care
  • Advance care planning
  • End-of-life care
  • Ethical issues in palliative care
  • Caring for yourself

Palliative Approach in Community Aged Care Workshop (In Person)

For community aged care workers, disability support workers and case managers working in aged care with limited or no palliative care experience and who have not attended a PEPA workshop previously.

Date: Wednesday 11th August 2021
Location: Century Inn, Promenade A, 5 Airfield Road, Traralgon
Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm (Registration from 8.30am) 

Topics covered include:

  • Principles of palliative care
  • Communication
  • Providing care
  • Advance care planning
  • End-of-life care
  • Ethical issues in palliative care
  • Caring for yourself

Click Here to register 

Palliative Care in General Practice – ONLINE Session

General Practitioners  and Practice Nurses who care for people with a life-limiting illness are invited to participate in this interactive education session, utilising group discussion and case studies to provide a greater understanding of symptom management at the end of life.

Date: Thursday 17th June 2021
Location: 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Link: To be provided on registration 

Topics covered include:
  • Recognising patients who need palliative care
  • Communicating about end of life issues
  • Voluntary assisted dying in Victoria
  • Assessing and managing common symptoms
  • Advance care planning
Click here to register

Thinking about undertaking voluntary assisted dying (VAD) training?     

La Trobe Regional Hospital, Eastern Health, The Department of Health and the VAD Care Navigator Service are providing an opportunity for medical practitioners to complete the online training in a supported group workshop environment over one full day.  On successful completion, participants will be able to provide assessments for patients seeking access to VAD legislation and participate in VAD to the level you feel comfortable.

Date: Friday 25th June

Click Here for pre-requisites and more information
Gippsland Paediatric Palliative Care Workshop

Doctors, nurses and allied health staff are invited to participate in a Paediatric Palliative Care workshop hosted by Melissa Heywood, Clinical Nurse Consultant for the Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program (VPPCP) at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. 

Date: Tuesday 24th August 2021
Location: Monash School of Rural Health – Traralgon Campus, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Princess Highway, Traralgon
Time: 9.30am – 3.30pm (Registration from 9.00am) 

Topics covered include:
  • What is Paediatric Palliative Care?
  • Symptom management
  • Ethics
  • Communication
  • Psychosocial and Bereavement support
Click Here to register 

Palliative Care Essentials - For Clinical Educators (Online)

This introductory two day workshop facilitated by Banksia Palliative Care, is for Clinical Educators working in health services in Gippsland.  It will provide a greater understanding and knowledge of general principles of palliative care and tips and resources on how to educate clinicians on the ground in this area.

Date: Thursday 17th June & Thursday 24th June
Location: Zoom (link to be provided upon registration)
Time: 12.30pm - 4.30pm

Click Here to register
Palliative Care Education Sessions

Banksia’s comprehensive interactive virtual palliative care education sessions have been developed to provide attendees with a greater understanding and knowledge of general palliative care principles. Attendees are able to attend single or multiple sessions to help enhance their palliative care skills and knowledge.

Session 1 - Introduction to Palliative Care 14 July 2021 
Session 2 - Importance of psychosocial support 1 July 2021
Session 3 - Pain management 28 July
Session 4 - End of life supports 4 August
Session 5 - Opioid conversions and syringe drivers 11 August
Session 6 - Symptom management part 1 18 August
Session 7 - Symptom management part 2 25 August
Session 8 -  Palliative emergencies, treatments and assessment tools 1 September

Time: 8.45am - 09.00am - 12.30pm  (Registration 8.45am)
Cost per session: $220 (includes GST) **Discounts apply for multiple session bookings

Click here to download application form
palliAGED Introduction Modules for Aged Care Nurses

The PalliAGED learning modules are designed to help aged care nurses new to palliative care to understand and prepare to care for older people at the end of life.

The online and interactive modules: 
  • Cover 10 essential topics
  • Free to use and come with supporting resources such as an online manual, forms, validated tools, and Practice Tip booklet/sheets
  • Developed with the aged care sector and reviewed by expert nurses
  • Designed for self-paced learning - with all 10 modules taking approximately 2.5 hours to complete and coming with a Certificate of Completion
  • Are available for integration into your organisation’s existing learning management system
  • Serve as a solid foundation for further education/professional development
Click here for more information
Project Updates
Transition to Specialty Palliative Care - Pilot

The GRPCC has partnered with Palliative Care South East, SMRPCC  and the Australian College of Nursing to develop the ‘Transition to Specialty Palliative Care’ course. We are very excited to report that the course is fully subscribed with metro and Gippsland students, and all participants remain active in the course.
The Transition to Specialty Palliative Care course is for RNs working in the community or inpatient setting looking to advance their palliative care knowledge. It is a bridge for those who wish to consolidate their expertise and pursue post-graduate study.  Further study options will be available for nurses who wish to advance their training in 2022.
Three of the seven workshops have now been completed in the pilot course. Participants are working through both the online learning material provided by the Australian College of Nursing and a Quality Improvement (QI) Project, that constitutes the majority of the assessment for this course.  It is estimated that nurses will need to allow 2-3 hours study/week to complete the online learning and the QI project by October. 
If you are interested in finding out more about this course in the future, please send an expression of interest to the GRPCC at to be placed on the waiting list for 2022.

Communication Skills Workshops

With the return of face-to-face learning, the GRPCC has been able to resume Communication Skills Workshop in Gippsland.  Partnering with Gippsland PHN and PEPA, the GRPCC communication skills team, John Reeved psychologist, Anny Byrne, cancer nurse and Veronica Porcaro, simulated patient have delivered 11 workshops to GPs, nurses, medical students and allied health professionals.

The small workshops focus on experiential role play of communication skills with a simulated actor in the context of Transition to Palliative Care. The training is evidence based, utilising the ALOBA (Agenda Led Outcome Based Analysis) model of communication skills training and provides an explicit communication skills framework which promotes individual learning and behavior change. 

In total 58 health professionals across Gippsland completed communication skills workshops since March 2021, 100% of participants being either very satisfied (86%) or satisfied (14%) with the workshop.

"The role-play activity was great and I learnt more than I thought.  I feel more confident to have conversations with clients.  Good to have resources to go to if needed"

If you are interested conducting communication skills in your health service or primary healthcare practice, please contact the GRPCC at or call us on 5623 0684.

Strengthening support for palliative care clients in Gippsland (Stage 2) – Implementation of the Telephone Triage Tool

The GRPCC, in collaboration with the Gippsland Primary Health Network and Monash School of Rural Health continues  the Telephone Triage Tool project to  support  generalist health professionals to deliver a consistent and evidence based approach to symptom management for clients receiving palliative care. The tool to support community palliative care clients in the afterhours time period has been implemented, and is being successfully used by health services, and community health services. The tool for primary health setting has commenced implementation in GP practices and other primary health settings.  We are happy to announce that the tool for the Aged Care setting is also now complete, and training is commencing for the use of this tool to improve identification and communication of palliative care symptoms for people living in residential care.
We are very excited to see the further development, implementation and evaluation of these tools with throughout 2021.
For further information, please contact Carol Barbeler at the GRPCC.

Palliative Care News

National Palliative Care Week

The theme of this year’s National Palliative Care Week (23 – 29 May); ‘Palliative Care It’s more than you think.’, seeks to raise awareness about the many benefits of quality palliative care. Palliative care is care that helps people (from babies to older adults) live their life as well as possible for as long as possible, when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness. The theme seeks to broaden the community’s perceptions, understanding and appreciation of palliative care, demonstrating its role in supporting the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of people living with a life-limiting illness, their families and their care team.  

National Palliative Care Week also presents an opportunity to highlight the work of not only hundreds of palliative care specialists and palliative care nurses, but also the support provided by general practitioners, volunteers, allied health professionals, community workers and everyone who works within the palliative care sphere.

The GRPCC has partnered with local libraries across South and West Gippsland to raise awareness and provide the public with resources and information.  Be sure to visit your local library to check out the displays.

For more information about National Palliative Care Week (23 – 29 May 2021) visit:  

Other Information
When someone dies in residential aged care: Grief and loss for families

'When someone dies in residential aged care: Grief and loss for families' is a booklet developed by Flinders University, Research Centre of Palliative Care, Death and Dying.  The booklet supports bereavement by providing information on what is likely to happen over time from entry into aged care through to the end of life. It includes suggestions, practical resources, and supports for families. The content was shaped by evidence from Australian and international studies of residential aged care.

Click here to view the booklet
The Dying Process

Not all of us have been present when someone dies, but the moment of death is often peaceful. This brochure developed by Palliative Care Australia (PCA) may help you understand, anticipate and respond to some of the signs you might notice before, during, and after death.

Click here to view the booklet
On the 'Virtual' Couch

Getting to know our palliative care people

Jenny Turra 

Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner


What did you want to be when you grew up? Honestly I had no idea.  In my last year of school settled on nursing as always felt in “my” zone when I was helping people.
Favourite holiday destination? I love being in any place with a river, the bush and a campfire, nothing better than being one with nature.

Buried, cremated or snap-frozen? Cremated with a wish for my ashes to become one with nature, preferably scattered in and around Blue Rock dam.

What will be written on your headstone?  No headstone, people can be with me in and around Blue Rock.

Music at your funeral? Mix of 80’s or 90’s music throughout ceremony for people to feel the music and celebrate with me in life.

What would your last outfit be? Something comfortable, likely leggings and tee shirt and no shoes, I am not someone who likes to wear shoes.  Love to feel the earth beneath my feet.

What are you reading nowThe Tao of Physics, an exploration of the parallels between modern physics and eastern mysticism.

What would you have for your last meal? Chicken and chips, brings back wonderful memories of time spent with my beautiful grandmother as a child.

Which famous person would you like to invite to dinner? Rather than a famous person, I love meeting people from all walks of life, cultures and if I feel a connection love to invite them home to learn more.

What lessons has your work life taught you?  Listen to understand, be humble and live life without fear and be true to yourself.
Interesting Articles and Papers
Living with dying - A guest blog post by Jan Obery, Senior Social Worker, Central Adelaide Palliative Care Service

Palliative care in residential aged care: Where does the Pharmacist fit in?  - A guest blog post by Julian Soriano, Aged Care and Palliative Care Pharmacist, and member, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA)

“Not just existing”: Meaning through activity participation - Guest article by Dr Laura Tierney, University of Tasmania

After years of discrimination, many LGBTQ people are 'terrified' of going into aged care - By the specialist reporting team's Loretta Florance and social affairs reporter Norman Hermant for ABC news

What Is Death? How the pandemic is changing our understanding of mortality - By Dr Miller for the New York Times
Other Palliative Care eNewsletters
CareSearch - May 2021

End of Life Essentials Project News - May 2021

Safer Care Victoria - May 2021

PalliAged News - May 2021

Mailing Address:

Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium
c/- West Gippsland Healthcare Group
Landsborough Road
Warragul  Vic  3820
t:   03 5623 0684

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Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium · c/- West Gippsland Healthcare Group · 41 Landsborough Road · Warragul, Vic 3820 · Australia

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